Office Watch readers have sent us timely reminders of some common scams targeting Office 365 and Microsoft customers. In both cases criminals impersonate Microsoft to trick people out of passwords or money.
Microsoft call scams
First up, a report from an anonymous reader …
“ Somebody from Microsoft called and that we get a refund of 300.00 but instead they took out 2000.00 out of our checking and savings account.
Then who scammed us they used the Microsoft logo. Some one is not doing their job. The bank will do nothing we filled out a police report but they told us not to expect much to be done.
I will never purchase anything from Microsoft again”
Cold calling scams are nothing new but they got a lot worse during the pandemic. Criminal gangs call pretending to be the tax department (IRS, HM Revenue etc) a bank, credit card company or other agency.
It’s the first time we’ve heard of scam cold calls pretending to be Microsoft with the lure of ‘refunds’. Usually Microsoft-fakery starts with a bogus error message or email, telling people to call a special number, like this report from 2018.
Microsoft will NEVER cold call individuals or small businesses. Anyone who calls unexpectedly pretending to be Microsoft (or Google, Amazon, Paypal the IRS etc) are scammers. Hang up immediately.
These scams aren’t the fault of the companies being impersonated. There’s nothing much they can do because anyone can copy any corporate logo and look. Microsoft publishes a list of their global support numbers.
Email password scams
An old scam that never ends, the fake password reset email. Here’s a recent example from an Office Watch reader.
It’s a fake. Just for starters, no proper security system would have a ‘Keep Password’ option only ‘Change Password’.
If you think the warning might be real, DON’T click the link in the email.
Instead, go to the account login that you normally use. If there’s a genuine problem, the system will alert you after or during login.